Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

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TeleHarry
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Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by TeleHarry » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:46 am

There must be a good source of information for finding eastern U.S. off-piste tele spots, and you folks are probably the best source of all!
I'm looking for places similar to "Whitegrass" (in West Virginia). It's a failed alpine resort (had a few rope tows many years ago, but there's barely any evidence of them now), no lifts, no snow-making, etc. What it does have is miles of cross-connecting trails, some of the best food you've ever had, an almost total absence of noise, and a complete lack of idiots. Plus the coolest staff you've ever met.
So, while I love Whitegrass, I'm looking for other, similar places. It doesn't need a restaurant, of course, or even a warming hut. It doesn't need to be a failed resort (but that would be cool). It can just be a place that an intermediate level tele skiier can go without getting arrested. Maybe a place that I could spend a night or two in the woods. It can even be near a resort, but not on/in one.
I'm in FAR western Maryland, but I don't mind traveling a good distance.
Any help would be greatly appreciated. Please talk to me like I'm new to all of this, because I am. Thanks!
Harry

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mainer
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Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by mainer » Sat Dec 26, 2015 11:16 am

Harry,

There is tons of good skiing in the North East. My experience is in Maine and NH, so I can't offer much advice further south. BUT, NH has a load of good ski trails that were cut back in the 1930s that are ungroomed and fun tours. These include the Sherburne (in Pinkham Notch), Black Mountain, Double Top, Wildcat Valley Trail, and others. They're all ski-specific trails, and can see pretty good traffic, but I don't think you could ever call them "crowded." (Except the Sherburne when the hoards are skiing down from Tuckerman's) There are also a lot of spots locals ski around North Conway. I used to ski the Cathedral Ledge auto road sometimes, just because it was on my way to work. There is also the Hurricane Mountain road and a mountain with a bunch of ledges on it that can be skiied. It is just south of Cranmore, but the name escapes me. The Cog railway is also a fun ski. It was cut to be a ski trail, but it proved financially unfeasible to run it to carry skiier up in the winter, so now it is a good skin and ski on the west side of Mt. Washington.

Maine has at least one "lost" ski mountain that I know folks still ski. This is Bald Mountain in Dedham. From reports, I hear it is a little overgrown, but still has plenty of skiable terrain if you like trees. Last year I also skied a bunch in Acadia National Park, which is spectacular, but hard to catch with good snow.

This is also an excellent film from the Meatheads about skiing in the NE. Should inspire your and give you some idea of where you can find some turns!



Cheers!

(p.s. There is WAY more skiing than listed here)

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connyro
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Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by connyro » Sat Dec 26, 2015 12:14 pm

Try: http://www.nelsap.org/ (New England Lost Ski Area Project)
Also try: http://www.dcski.com/lostareas/

MikeK

Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by MikeK » Sat Dec 26, 2015 6:55 pm

Not sure what kind of gear you have, but if you have a more touring focused rig and want to spend some time in the woods there are a number of lean tos (not enclosed like a hut, but at least keeps you out of the snow) in the Adirondacks that can be skied to. The ones in the High Peaks also have some opportunity for bigger mountain skiing i.e. slides if you want steep and sketchy. Keep in mind that they are avy terrain and people have died on them recently, so it's not something you should do unless you are well versed at understanding snow pack and have the proper gear.

I'm pretty interested in and keep up with skiing opportunities in the NY, so if you have any questions, PM me or search the forum, I post more about it than most people probably care to read.

Another thing that might be real interesting to you is RASTA. It's still young but it looks like it might be one of the coolest things to ever happen to Vermont (well other than the Catamount trail).

http://www.rastavt.org/

I'd love to take a trip there and do a day or two of touring on the Catamount and a day or two checking out their stuff. I'm not sure how they are designing this but it might be more expert level terrain.

Maine and NH are farther out of my range but I have heard of hut to hut systems in Maine which sound like fun. I'm pretty sure NH has a lot of skiing opportunities in the Whites but I always seem to read about the same few. I'm sure there are more. Also I'm pretty sure they have huts.

North of the border in Quebec probably has even more opportunity than the rest of the North East. If you can make the trip to Gaspe, it looks like ski heaven. With everything from touring to steep mountain skiing all in a wild setting. Ben also pointed out to me some hut to hut trips in Quebec (bgregoire on this forum) which you could ask him about and search for. There are a number of skiing opportunities in many of their parks but he seemed very specific on which ones were the real deal.

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Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by satsuma » Sat Dec 26, 2015 10:47 pm

I have posted a book under "Teleturnaround" which may interest you.

The subject of abandoned ski areas brings up a surprising abandoned ski area in the place I grew up-- Oregon Ridge in Baltimore County (MD). Not very useful to you obviously. It's a 600 ft hill in Cockeysville (now a busy suburb of Baltimore)--I am guessing they were making snow there at one time (don't remember), but certainly Balto. Co doesn't get consistently cold weather which would justify snowmaking. We usually had a 3 week cold spell every year which allowed outdoor ice skating.

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Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by Woodserson » Tue Dec 29, 2015 12:10 am

This is a little talked about place in southern Vermont that is similar to Whitegrass... Prospect Mtn.

http://www.prospectmountain.com/

Failed downhill area, all XCD now. High base elevation for good snow.

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Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by Cannatonic » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:07 pm

Harry check out this book to get started:

http://www.backcountryskiing.info
"All wisdom is to be gained through suffering"
-Will Lange (quoting Inuit chieftan)

MikeK

Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by MikeK » Tue Dec 29, 2015 7:52 pm

Prospect Mtn looks sweet!

There is a place like that right in Saranac Lake. I've actually never been there as much as I'm in SL, but it's endorsed by Adirondack BC skiing on FB, so that must be good:

http://www.deweymountain.com/

The $5 fee is kind of against my ski religion, but it's tolerable I suppose.

And this place is right across town:

http://mtpisgahadk.com/

A little pricey for what it is, but if you want to ski into the night, it's a good option to maximize your ski trip.

This is one of my favorite places to eat in SL:

http://www.bmc-adk.com/index.html

A great breakfast joint with good coffee and homemade baked goods.

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Woodserson
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Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by Woodserson » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:08 pm

Is that old mountain over by Lake Placid on the forest preserve? Whitney? Is that skiable or is it on private property?

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Woodserson
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Favorite boots: T2Eco, T4, Alaska
Occupation: Retro Rager-grouch. Flailmeister. E99 Nerd

Re: Help finding eastern US "off piste", please.

Post by Woodserson » Wed Dec 30, 2015 10:09 pm

OH, and that place between Jay and Wilmington on the south side of 86?

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